As a woman, at one point in our lives, we have been bombarded with the overwhelming number of options when it comes to birth control. Here are nine common myths about birth control and what you need to know.
- Pulling out is an effective method.
This is one of the LEAST effective methods of birth control. It’s not a safe bet to take as sperm can still be released before an orgasm.
- All birth control methods are the same.
They’re similar but vastly different to who they cater to. I have an IUD because I don’t want children for a little while, but I also cannot remember to take a pill every day. IUDs can be effective for years and they just hang out in your uterus protecting you. It might seem weird to have something chilling inside you, so some people choose a shot or a pill as a less invasive form of birth control. In addition to that, there is a patch, ring, and even an implant in your arm. Each one could contain a different hormone that is beneficial to you based on your needs. It is important to discuss these options with your OBGYN to see which is right for you!
- The pill is immediately effective.
Don’t we all wish this were the case? Most of the time it can take up to a week for the pill to be fully effective. Make sure you are better safe than sorry.
- Using birth control to skip your period is unhealthy.
While it may be nice to know when you are going to get your period, it is not unhealthy to skip periods. It’s not so bad when you don’t have to be in pain for a week every month.
- When taking birth control, there is no need to use a condom.
WRONG. Using a condom or any other barrier method is a form of contraception that decreases your risk of contracting, or passing, an STD. It also increases your protection against pregnancy even if you are on birth control. Make sure you check the effectiveness of your method.
- Birth control is only used to prevent pregnancy.
Yes but that’s not all! Other common benefits include lighter, shorter, regulated periods, lessened PMS symptoms, improvement of acne, lift the pain of menstrual cramps and reduced risk of ovarian cysts or cancer. This goes to show why access to birth control is SO important.
- All birth control methods are 100% effective
No birth control method is 100% effective (except abstinence). The IUD implants are 99% effective. The pill, patch, and ring are about 91% effective IF you are using them perfectly. Condoms are about 85% effective meaning about 15 out of 100 women will get pregnant when they have sex using a condom. Make sure you take the time to educate yourself and the what-ifs that come with them.
- You won’t get pregnant if you shower/bathes or urinate right after sex.
This will NOT stop the sperm and semen that have already entered the uterus.
- There are not many affordable options for birth control.
Most women SHOULD be able to access birth control at no or little cost. Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies are required to include contraceptive coverage. Companies are NOT allowed to charge you a copayment or deductible for contraceptive-related healthcare visits either. If you do not have health insurance, check with your local county health department and Planned Parenthood because some programs provide free birth control or may be available at a low cost based on your income.
Stay safe and stay educated! :)